Dear nature lovers,
Greetings from oikos !
A riparian zone or riparian area is the interface between land and a river or a stream.
Riparian comes from the Latin word Ripa meaning ‘river bank’.
This zone is mainly characterized by vegetation along both the banks which is called as riparian vegetation or riparian forests. This vegetation includes hydrophilic species which has affinity for water like Salix tetrasperma (Walunj), Ficus racemosa (Umbar), Jambhul (Syzygium cuminii), Pongamia pinnata (Karanj), Polygonum glabra (Paral), Crinum vivipara, Cyperus species etc.
Riparian zones are important in ecology because of their role in soil and banks stabilization, maintaining habitat biodiversity. These zones are important natural biofilters - protecting aquatic environments from excessive sedimentation, polluted surface runoff and erosion. Riparian forests offer shade that limits stream temperature change which is crucial for certain species especially fishes. These zones supply shelter and food for many aquatic animals. These zones also influence abiotic factors along river, recharges ground water.
Any activity like construction or agriculture within riparian zone disrupts all these functions.
From a social aspect, riparian zones have an intrinsic value contributing pleasure to residents through amenity and views and also contribute to property values. Maintenance & protection of riparian zone needs highest priority by local government.
Ketaki & Manasi
With Team oikos !
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